Jeff Cullen (left) and three other firefighters from the Victoria Fire Department participated in the Ride to Conquer Cancer training event for World Cancer Day 2019. Collectively, riders logged 200 km, to represent the more than 200,000 Canadians diagnosed with cancer every year. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Victoria Fire Department hosts ride for World Cancer Day

Participants in the upcoming Ride to Conquer Cancer event logged 200 km on stationary bikes

The Victoria Fire Department was dealing with a lot of burning Monday morning, but not the usual kind.

Members of the Victoria Fire Department were among 24 community members burning calories to raise awareness for the BC Cancer Foundation and the Ride to Conquer Cancer by logging 200 kilometres on spin bikes for World Cancer Day.

“Every year over 200,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer,” said Kelsey Hartman, corporate engagement specialist for the Ride to Conquer Cancer. “So we asked each rider to fundraise $200 and work towards cycling 200 km.”

ALSO READ: Hundreds gather to honour fallen B.C. firefighter

Cancer is a topic that hits close to home for firefighters as they are exposed to a high level of carcinogens in their line of duty, something which puts 30 different types of cancer on the list for coverage from the Worker’s Compensation Act for firefighters.

“Cancer has really affected our department,” said firefighter Jeff Cullen. “As a department, we ride to honour those we’ve lost, those who are currently battling cancer and to help negate the negative effects of cancer on future generations.”

READ MORE: Late Victoria fire chief remembered for his quiet dedication, leadership

Most recently, former Fire Chief Richard Couch died from cancer in June 2018, just months after participating in the 2017 Ride to Conquer Cancer. Couch didn’t know he had cancer at the time and had chosen to participate in the ride in honour of previous Fire Chief Doug Angrove, who died of brain cancer in 2017.

The Ride to Conquer Cancer is accepting donations and team registrations leading up to the official two-day, 200 km event, which runs from Aug. 24 to 25. The ride will begin in Cloverdale, outside of Langley and finish in Hope.

For more information, you can visit ride.conquercancer.ca.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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